A poem by Shanti Kumari Johnson

A poem by Shanti Kumari Johnson



Dust Petals


They were falling.

Like death eaten dust petals they seemed to be joking

For they had survived amidst the random chaos, their softness.


They’re in your blood, you see?

Your life, your death, your love

contained within your skull

in memory abstract grain.

Your breath, your sigh, your eyes,

are in your blood along side the craving

to know each other forever.


Enclosing peacefully between perfection and freedom

clipping the wings

to give them to those who cannot fly,

cradling the tender red liquid until it dries.


We go through life somewhat there

somewhat not

until we reach the other side.


Peeling our skin,

tasting the marrow.

Listening to our bones,

to those who came before us.

Reading the words of smoke they left

inscribed in the pores of our souls.


In life 

as in death,

feeling the pumping of time.




All rights reserved. Copyrighted by Shanti Kumari Johnson 1998. Comissioned by Jeff Abbey Maldonado for his linoleum print entitled Fragrance of Death. Day of the Dead 1998 Chicago.